MDO Plywood: What Is It, Benefits & Uses

MDO Plywood: What Is It, Benefits & Uses

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When it comes to building materials,plywoodis of course one of the most useful and common ones. It can be used for a very wide variety of tasks. It comes with many benefits, and only a few drawbacks.

However, keep in mind that there aredifferent types of plywoodout there. Today, we want to look at one very specific type known as MDO plywood. Let’s figure out exactly what it is, what its pros and cons are, and what it is generally used for.

What Is MDO Plywood?

As the name implies, MDO is a type of plywood, although a very special type. MDO stands for medium density overlay. MDO plywood is generally designed for exterior use, although it can also be used for interior purposes. Simply put, MDO plywood can be used for anything and can be used anywhere that regular plywood would be used.

In case you are wondering how MDO plywood is made, it is very similar to the construction process of regular plywood. Just like regular plywood, layers of wood are fused together. Very thin veneers or strips of wood are layered together in a perpendicular manner. Between each of the layers, there is a completely waterproof resin, and it is all then fused together using a combination of pressure and heat.

The reason why this is called medium density overlay is that there is then a special coating or overlay applied to the exterior of this plywood, which is made out of a waterproof resin impregnated fiber. Therefore, MDO plywood is 100% waterproof, which is why it is ideal for exterior use.

MDO Plywood Specifications: What Sizes and Grades Does It Come In?

而言of sizes, MDO plywood usually comes in sheets that are either 4 by 8 feet or 4 by 10 feet. That being said, depending on the lumber shop you go to, there may be other sizes available, and you can certainly have them custom-made as well.

The good news here also is that MDO plywood tends tocut very easily without fraying or splintering. This means that you can get your own sheets, and then cut them down to size as needed.

而言of the grades that MDO plywood comes in, keep in mind that MDO itself is an exterior grade of plywood. Therefore, MDO plywood only comes in one standard grade, which is exterior grade.

When it comes to its manufacturing, both B grade and C grade wood are used when making MDO sheets. Not the highest quality of veneers are used in the construction of MDO, but pretty close, plus that resin impregnated fiber overlay makes a huge difference too.

Advantages of MDO Plywood

MDO膠合板確實也有一些顯著的副詞antages that are worth talking about in some detail.

1. Increased Water and Weather Resistance

One of the biggest advantages of MDO plywood is that it is 100% waterproof. It is totally impermeable to moisture, and it is, therefore, more than ideal for outdoor use where severe weather is involved. This is one of the best types of plywood to use for outdoor purposes where plenty of moisture is involved.

2. Great Durability and Weight Bearing Capabilities

Due to the special way that MDO plywood is made, it is also extremely durable overall. It is very impact-resistant, and it can also bear a lot of weight. As far as plywood goes, this is one of the longest-lasting types out there. Once you build something out of MDO plywood, it is unlikely that you will have to replace it anytime soon.

3. Indoor and Outdoor Use

Due to MDO plywood being so durable, long-lasting, and waterproof, it is a very versatile type of plywood that can be used for all sorts of indoor and outdoor applications. This kind of versatility often makes it a building material of choice.

4. It’s Easy to Cut

Something else that stands out about MDO plywood is that it is much easier to cut than most other types of plywood. Due to the special way it is built, when you go to saw through it, it usually doesn’t crack, splinter, chip, or produce a lot of dust. Making smooth and straight cuts through MDO plywood is generally very easy.

5. It’s Safe to Work With

Due to the fact that it produces very little dust when being sawed through, and because it is not made with formaldehyde, it is generally considered to be a very safe building material that is suitable for indoor use and long-term exposure.

6. It’s Easy to Paint

MDO plywood is extremely smooth and is therefore easy to paint. When it comes totypes of engineered wood, this is one of the easiest types to paint.

7. It’s Fairly Lightweight

The other advantage that you get with MDO plywood is that in the grand scheme of things, it is fairly lightweight.

Disadvantages of MDO Plywood

The cool thing about MDO plywood is that it really doesn’t come with many disadvantages at all. Let’s take a look at the few disadvantages that it does have.

1. Cost

The biggest disadvantage of this type of plywood is that it is quite expensive, often up to twice as expensive as regular plywood.

2. Lack of Size Options

The other slight disadvantage is that MDO plywood does not typically come in many different sizes. This can easily be solved by cutting it down to size yourself, though.


Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common applications of MDO plywood.

1. Exterior Siding

One of the most common uses of this type of plywood is for exterior siding. It’s a very durable material that is totally waterproof, offers great temperature control, and is very easy to paint as well. It is a rather perfect material to use for exterior siding.

2. Outdoor Signs

Another common use of MDO plywood is to make signboards or billboards. MDO plywood is in fact the most commonly used material for billboards due to its durability and weather resistance.

3. Concrete Forms

MDO plywood is also commonly used to make concrete forms. It’s very easy to assemble and tear down, it can handle a lot of weight, and it’s waterproof too. It also has great insulating properties that allow concrete to dry quickly and consistently. It’s the material of choice to use for concrete framing.

4. …Much More

MDO plywood is also often used for interior purposes where a highly durable and waterproof type of plywood is called for. It can be used for flooring, roofing, cabinetry, and more or less everything in between.


而言of engineered wood types, MDO plywood is absolutely one of the best out there. Due to all of its advantages, it is very versatile and can be used for a variety of applications.